Honors Theses

Date of Award


Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis


Croft Institute for International Studies

First Advisor

Susan Allen

Relational Format



This paper investigates the relationship between the Schengen area in Europe and terrorism. The Schengen agreement was implemented in 1995; since then, internal borders between the contracting parties have been abolished. This paper emphasizes the rationale that Schengen made member-states more vulnerable to terrorist attacks because the agreement inherently involved less regulation. In order to test this rationale, this study uses James Q. Wilson's choice theory. This theory refers to the school of thought which maintains that rational wrongdoers act as if they weigh the possible benefits of criminal or delinquent activity against the expected costs of being apprehended. Specifically, I posit that Schengen has lowered the costs that terrorists, who want to commit attacks within the area, associate with being apprehended. This study involves a mixed large-N quantitative analysis and a small-N case study. My sample for the large-N analysis includes the original contracting parties of Schengen: France, Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands. The particular case examined in the small-N analysis is France. Overall, this research shows that while terrorist attacks have decreased since Schengen was implemented, the perpetration of said terrorism has experienced shifts. Keywords: Terrorism, Schengen, France


A thesis presented in partial fulfillment of the requirements for completion of the Bachelor of Arts degree in International Studies from the Croft Institute for International Studies and the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College.



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